I'm exceedingly busy and probably ought not have waded into this thread since I won't have time to close out any loose threads. 1. I was tying my shoes today and thinking about the unthinking statements (yes, I used that word carefully) : "Golly, I can't believe anyone would have a problem with the statement that good works are necessary for salvation." Really? If the Pope said it, would you have a problem with it? If he had said so in the context of Roman Catholic theology would there be a reason to discuss the statement and provide a necessary correction to that statement? Candidly, it matters little to me if you agree with my specific concerns raise in this thread but the simple statement that we ought *never* be concerned when someone attaches the necessity of good works to salvation is an unthinking comment. Put on your thinking caps as I will not respond to anyone in particular who has made this comment. 2. Regarding my tone, it reflects my irritation at the theological approach used both in the posting of this thread and the article linked, which purports to provide a historical and theological summary of how the Reformed writers view the necessity of good works. I would say the same things to the face of a man if he was to go on to an open forum and have a website dedicated to now propagating an imbalanced view of the issue. 3. Any Reformed teacher who thinks Christ's Mediation and our union with Him is incidental to this question may have read lots of Reformed theology but does not understand its center nor does it understand the center of the Christian faith. It may be counted as an oversight but that oversight is critical. One cannot "get there from here" with respect to our good works in any way being part of salvation unless Christ's Mediation is central to how that functions. It's like leaving the sun out of a discussion of photosynthesis. 4. My problem is never with the necessity of good works from a Covenant of Grace perspective. It is simply not possible that a person be united to Christ that Christ will not sanctify the person united to HIm. Christ frees the sinner from slavery to corruption and enables him to obey. He plants new desires even as we endeavor to kill the flesh. That same Christ, our Mediator-King, will subdue all our enemies and present us spotless. Hence, all of salvation is encompassed in Christ which is why the NT so often addresses us as "in Christ'. So, on the surface of things, you might ask what my beef is. I can (with the appropriate qualifications, agree that good works are necessary for salvation. I've already identified the poverty in the way in which the Reformed writers are cited and employed within the article. A person could reasonably read that article where Christ is a spectator of much of the activity having procured justification and faith but there's little sense in the article that the activities are positionally in Him and empowered and procured and ensured by Him. One only has to have read Owen on Sin and Sanctification to see how that Puritan placed Christ as central to this work. My other problem is years of experience dealing with people from various walks whom I have to teach and counsel. I have served on Credentials committees for almost a decade now. One of the questions we ask is the relationship of salvation to good works. We also ask about whether baptism saves. I'm actually the one who typically criticizes licentiates and candidates for ministry because they conflate salvation with justification. They rightly point out that good works don't save a person nor does baptism save a person. Yet, in a sense, both of them do save a person. When thought about more deeply (and in Christ) then we understand how Christ uses good works and the sacraments to save a man (in the fullest sense of the word). Now, reflexively, some say: "See that's the problem with people today, they don't know the semantic and theological range of the word 'save'!" You can either understand that and speak in a way that ministers to people in a condescending or understanding way or you can speak over their heads and insist that good works are necessary for salvation and not care in the least how that statement is interpreted by the hearer or reader. After all, all you're doing is writing a blog post or a comment on a discussion forum. Meh. I care and I could actually care less about how I'm received when I'm making *plain* to the average reader that there is an imbalance in a way that a teacher ought to be presenting this material so that the unlearned don't stumble. If I don't reply for some time then it's not that I don't care. I don't hate or despise any of you guys. Hopefully, my remarks clarify my concern. The stakes are high.